Furniture Consignment Gallery Blog

Damn the Virus! Shuttered Small Businesses May Not Survive the Pandemic, but FCG Will See This Through

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, March 27, 2020 @ 06: 30 PM

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After our three stores were ordered to close on Tuesday, I suddenly had a lot more time on my hands. Route 9 in Natick was eerily quiet. Every parking lot on this vital retail corridor was empty. Every store was dark: the music store, the bicycle store, the piano store, the rug merchant. Then, I rounded the corner on Speen Street and caught sight of Home Depot.

Its parking lot was filled with cars. Plenty more were jostling for the occasional empty spot. Dozens of folks streamed in and out of the enormous orange store pushing carts loaded with purchases. Now that everyone has gotten bored with binge-watching cable and raking the lawn, Home Depot is suddenly an exciting getaway.

Damn the virus.

Sure, every resident in the state was ordered to stay at home to limit the spread of the coronavirus. But it looks to me like everyone has decided to shelter-in-place in Home Depot’s Aisle 7. Because that spare bedroom urgently needs some updating: a coat of paint, a few new lamps, a rug.

Up the road, Walmart also was bustling. America finally has all the time in the world for its favorite sport: shopping. I saw a mom pushing a cart loaded with toys towards her car followed by a pack of rambunctious kids, likely hers and half the neighborhood’s.

Damn the virus!

As a small business owner, I’m aware that the unbridled growth of these two retail giants have proven fatal for millions of small, family businesses like mine. Now that I’ve been sidelined by executive order, I feel something more akin to outrage. I’m watching these big-box retailers rake in the bucks while we, the so-called non-essential businesses, are forced to close our doors.

We family businesses have no choice but to sit, wait and pray for an end to this pandemic. Right now, we’re hoping to re-open in April, but that deadline might well be pushed back until May or June. Some of us may never open our doors again. Others will be forced into bankruptcy, a slower and even more painful death. Fortunately, FCG prepared for the next downturn and we'll see this through, but many have not.

Damn the virus!

Meanwhile, Home Depot and Walmart are likely radioactive with infection. Flattening the curve? More like fattening the curve at the same time they are fattening their cash registers. Walmart, Dollar General and other chain stores say they need to hire hundreds of thousands of workers to meet the demand of shoppers. How many of the employees I was forced to lay off will they poach before this is over?

Damn the virus!

Governor, on behalf of all family businesses deemed non-essential, I make a plea. If these big-box stores are allowed to remain open, they should follow protocol to limit the possibility of spreading disease. Among other things, that means outfitting their workers in protective gear and limiting the numbers of shoppers allowed in the store at one time. Shoppers should be required to wear masks and latex gloves.

Heck, Governor, I think you should level the playing field even more to preserve the financial health of sidelined small businesses. Why not limit the sales of non-essential products? Is it worth risking the health of this great state so bored folks can tackle their home-improvement projects or fill the toy box? Make it safe to shop and you will flatten the curve.

Damn the virus.

In the Midst of Crisis, There’s a Renaissance on the Horizon

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, March 20, 2020 @ 06: 39 PM

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After 1,000 years of plague, war and starvation, the Renaissance burst into bloom in Europe, dispelling the gloom of the Dark Ages. Starting in northern Italy, this new age brought a rebirth of art, music and scholarship. New ideas flourished, as did an appreciation of beauty, freedom and pleasure.

Every nation on earth faces a crisis now. In this time of fear and uncertainty, we are all reminded of the fragility of life. And, the irony is, we are newly aware of how much we need each other just as we are being warned to distance ourselves from others.


I’m convinced this pandemic will spark a rebirth of everything we treasure: devotion to family, community, nation and the world. We’ll see a burst of creativity in the arts. We are already witnessing extraordinary acts of courage and generosity. We understand, at the deepest level, what it means to sacrifice for the greater good.


And, incredibly, all of this happened in a week.


As a father, husband, son, brother, citizen and business owner, every day brings challenges. What is the right thing to do right now? Even simple decisions are no longer simple. Do we go to the grocery store because we’re craving pasta or do we eat last night’s leftovers?


Then there are the big decisions. Should we close our doors, temporarily, at FCG? Or do we serve our customers who now need desks because they’re working at home or a bed for someone who urgently needs to shelter with family?


For now, our doors are still open. We’re taking every measure to insure the safety of our staff and our customers. As this crisis unfolds, we’ll continue to update you about FCG. We’re all in this together.



*Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Cannot be used on prior purchases. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Promotion ends Sunday March 22, 2020 at midnight.

When Your Home is Your Refuge Make it More Comfortable With Bargains from FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, March 13, 2020 @ 04: 47 PM

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Your home is your refuge – especially in times of crisis.

Few things are more comforting than closing the door on the world and settling into a warm and welcoming place. And that’s exactly what the health experts are advising all of us to do for the next few weeks. Schoolkids are happily embracing the concept of an extended family quarantine, calling it a “corona-cation.”

Many companies are ordering employees to work from home. Still, with the global economy at a near-standstill, you may find yourself with plenty of time for binge-watching movies on your cozy couch.

But what if there is no cozy couch? What if your couch is lumpy and stained? What if your nest needs a little feathering?

I’ve got the perfect solution: furnitureconsignment.com.

If your home office happens to be your kitchen table with the usual coffee stains and toast crumbs, you might want to consider a chic new arrival in Hanover: a white desk and chair from Pottery Barn

If the kids’ rec room needs a stylish boost so your teens with be comfortable in their marathon gaming sessions, check out the extraordinary circular chair-and-a-half in silver upholstery from Mitchell Gold at our store in Natick. It’s big enough for two or three to lounge on at the same time.

And if you’re longing for the good ol’ days when toilet paper was plentiful and grocery stores were fully stocked with canned goods, then check out the antique oak case crank telephone at our store in Plymouth. 

Best of all, FCG delivers. So you can relax and browse, then order everything you need for your home from the comfort of your leather La-Z-Boy Oscar Power Recliner. What? You don’t have one? Well, FCG does – at the store in Plymouth. 

Or, better yet, stop by our stores. Like all responsible retailers, we’re talking measures to clean all surfaces more frequently. We will chat about your home project from a respectful distance and we’ll offer our best ideas. We’re open as usual, and we’d love you to stop by.

FCG: The Commonsense Approach to Furnishing Your Home

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, March 06, 2020 @ 08: 14 PM

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“Let’s run some tests.”

To a pet owner, those four words are nothing less than blood-curdling when uttered by a veterinarian. Vet bills can run in the thousands of dollars, and few of us carry insurance on our furry or feathered companions.

Roxie, our six-year-old Boxer, had been clawing at her ears this week. She’s prone to ear infections because we did not have her ears cropped. (Cropping is a controversial practice in which the floppy part of the dog’s ear is cut off so that the ear when it heals is rigidly upright.) By this time of year, Roxie usually has had one or two infections.

The doctor was standing in front of me. I heard something about ruling out rare diseases with a variety of tests. My vision blurred. Tests! The very suggestion made my ears go rigidly upright.

“Hmmmmm,” the vet said as she studied her clipboard. “We’d like to check her teeth and do a saliva test, then take a swath from her ears and check it under the microscope. Also, we’ll need a stool sample and, of course, an x-ray.” As she turned to leave, she added, thoughtfully, “I’ll go work up an estimate of the bill.”

At that, my head cleared and I shot out of the chair. “Time out!” I shouted. Everyone in the office froze. I took a deep breath. Clearly, Roxie was suffering, but I was hoping to walk away from this situation without having to file for bankruptcy. “Doc,” I said, “what’s your gut feeling here?”

She hesitated, then conceded it was most likely an ear infection, easily treated with a cleaning solution and an antibiotic. “Can we give that a try before we run all those tests?” I pleaded. “If Roxie doesn’t respond to the antibiotics, I promised, we’ll be back.”

“That is, after I take out a home equity line of credit,” I said to myself silently.

Moments later, Roxie and I trotted out to the car together, with me triumphantly toting the bottle of medicine. She was better in a day.

As the old saying goes, common sense just isn’t that common. At Furniture Consignment Gallery, we pride ourselves on taking a commonsense approach to selling your furniture and helping you pick our pieces that will work in your home. Not every furniture store has the same attitude. We love to sell furniture, and lots of it, but we’re always going to opt for the practical and price-conscious. Our customers can bank on it.

Plymouth Celebrates Its Pilgrim Founding with Another Building Boom

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, February 28, 2020 @ 06: 59 PM

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Four centuries ago in 1620, 101 Pilgrims staggered off the Mayflower after two difficult months at sea and founded the town of Plymouth. What followed was New England’s first building boom. The Pilgrim made their homes with wattle and daub, which is a mix of dirt, clay, animal dung and straw.

Plymouth is currently in the midst of another building boom, but the homes are far from the crude structures hastily constructed that first winter by the Pilgrims. Today’s houses are palaces, by comparison. They feature grand entrances, multiple bathrooms, and thousands of square feet of living space decked out in marble, granite and other costly finishes.

In some places, the landscaping feature layers of colorful plants, shrubs and trees that require a weekly platoon of gardeners to maintain. The interiors feature exquisite woodworking: crown moldings, wainscoting, built-in cabinetry and exotic wood floors. In fact, some builders are piling on so much ornamentation that the homes resemble Versailles.

Not everyone is a fan of the lavish look. Skip Hommel of Cadillac Hill Carpentry, one of most skilled finish carpenters on the South Shore, drily observed that homeowners are addicted to woodworking when sometimes “what you really need is just a nice piece of furniture.”

Wise words, Skip.

Luxury touches are elegant. Built-in cabinetry adds beauty and depth. But not every corner has to be finished with a flourish. To be aesthetically pleasing, homes also need empty spaces for the furniture, which adds creative functionality.

In my view, a home’s finish work should act as a beautiful frame for your stunning artwork. The frame is there to enhance the art, not overwhelm it. Furniture is the art. And if you are looking for extraordinary furniture at a bargain price, look no further than FCG in Plymouth, Hanover or Natick. Our stores are filled with high-quality stylish furniture perfect for your palace. Those frugal Pilgrims would have approved, in my view.

Furnishing Your First Apartment? 5 Tips to Help You Decorate Like a Pro

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, February 21, 2020 @ 02: 28 PM

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My very first apartment after college was grim but it had the advantage of being cheap. Most of my friends had headed back to their hometowns after graduation. I’d decided to stay in Lexington, Kentucky and get a job. For the first time in my life, I was utterly alone and lonely.

The barrenness of my apartment didn’t help matters. The previous tenant had left a couple of pieces of furniture: a wobbly card table, a couple of folding chairs and a milk crate. The milk crate, interestingly, proved the most useful. Upside down, it was an excellent television stand. And when a new friend suggested we pool resources and rent a nice furnished place, I used the crate to carry my meager belongings to our new digs.

Looking back, I’d advise my younger self to do things a little differently. Everyone deserves a comfortable retreat, especially those just starting to make their way in the world. So here are some tips for furnishing your first apartment:

• Never buy new furniture for your first apartment, or even your second or third. You’ll get more for your money at consignment or thrift stores. Upscale consignment shops carry high-quality, name-brand pieces that are durable and stylish. Some of the solid-wood furniture made by reputable companies such as Ethan Allen and Hitchcock are almost indestructible.

• Discover your style. Don’t settle for furniture left on the curb as trash and don’t let your mom pawn her old stuff off on you. You’re going to be hauling that chest of drawers up and down stairs many times in the next few years. So make sure it is something you actually like.

• Buy quality. You don’t want a table whose legs fall off as you’re lurching sweatily down four flights of stairs. Beware the online furniture stores. Most of the time, you’ll have to assemble the pieces you buy, an experience both time-consuming and challenging. Some of the furniture sold online is so shoddy it won’t last long enough to make it to your second apartment.

• Have fun shopping. After all, you want your friends to be comfortable when they come over for game night or to watch the game. If you really want to express your personality, buy older pieces made of solid maple, walnut, mahogany or oak and paint them. A lime green coffee table? Why not?

• Take pride in your first place. Start collecting furniture and art that is meaningful to you. Some pieces you’ll shed as you move up in the world, and some pieces will become treasures that you’ll take to your next home. I didn’t keep that milk crate, but I probably should have. One of my three boys might need it in a couple of years.

Don’t Battle Traffic This Weekend! Make Your Home a Soulful Retreat with Help from FCG

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, February 14, 2020 @ 05: 54 PM

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Just as winter hits peak tediousness, we get a reprieve! A long weekend, in honor of George Washington or your choice of any of the other 44 past and present-day POTUS’s. So what are you going to do with such a valuable little gem of potential leisure?

Ski? No, not unless you love waiting in long lift lines. Disney World? Nope, not unless hordes of howling kids are appealing. My recommendation: three days of hygge, which is the art of enjoying convivial companionship and maximum coziness in your home. It’s a real trend, thanks to the Danish.

Think fuzzy socks, a blazing fire, a good book, a glass of wine all enjoyed in the comfort of your very own home. Hygge, pronounced hoo-ga, is a way of achieving soulful pleasure. To us frenetic Americans, it sounds indulgent, I know. But surveys show the Danes are the happiest people in the world.

Maybe they’re on to something. So here’s my recommendation: ditch the traffic jams and fill your weekend with some hygge. But, uh-oh, what if your home isn’t so cozy? What if it is the opposite of hygge, say, as warm and comforting as a warehouse of old office furniture?

Then you need to visit FCG. In fact, our talented staffers have created displays that are the very definition of hygge: stylish furniture, inviting throws, candles and carefully selected lamps to create a soothing pool of light. You’re not ready to tackle a home improvement project? Then create a hyggekrog, a nook with a comfortable chair, a side table, a place all your own layered with pillows and blankets where you can curl up with a cup of tea.

You’ll find everything you need to create your retreat at FCG. We have all the most popular and highest quality name brands, and best of all, it’s a bargain! Most of our furniture is 40% to 80% off the retail price of those new furniture showrooms down the road.

To tempt you even more, we’re going to take an additional 15% off our current prices from now through the end of the day on Tuesday at our three stores in Hanover, Natick and Plymouth. Hygge away, my friends. You’ll thank me later.

 

*Cannot be combined with any other offer or promotion. Cannot be used on prior purchases. ALL SALES ARE FINAL. Promotion ends Tuesday February 18, 2020 at midnight.

Not Your Father’s Retirement: Visit FCG for Help Planning Your Next Act

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, February 07, 2020 @ 07: 11 PM

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Watching the Super Bowl last Sunday, I realized that the world had shifted a bit on its axis. At half-time, we all got a riveting look at two middle-aged women who defied expectation and gravity with a wildly physical performance. Even my boys couldn’t take their eyes off the screen as Jennifer Lopez, 50, was writhing around a stripper pole in her silver catsuit.

Ahem, neither could I.

Let’s face it. We’re in new territory now when it comes to aging and we’re going to have to set aside fusty assumptions about getting older. This is particularly important for those who are one the verge of – or in the midst of – retiring. There’s a whole new playbook for downsizing and retiring.

For older generations, downsizing was simply about getting rid of the big house and all its responsibilities. Nowadays, experts don’t even call it “downsizing.” The process is called “smart-sizing.” And that means finding the right fit for your lifestyle for early retirement, when you’re likely to be very active with activities and travel, and later retirement when you’ll need proximity to health care and family.

At every point, the process can be challenging. Fear not. At FCG, we’re experts and we’re here to help with issues large and small.

One of the first tasks of downsizing: what do you do with a house full of stuff? Some of it may be valuable; some not so much. Secondly, you’ll need to figure out what will actually fit into that new condo or beachfront home. Do you buy a place to fit your lifestyle or the stuff you’ve accumulated over the decades? What items have sentimental value for you – or your kids?

FCG has one important piece of advice to offer as you begin the process. Give yourself plenty of time. There are surprises and detours along the way towards any destination, including downsizing and retirement. Haste makes waste, and stress.

Even if retirement is only on the horizon, come talk to us about the resale value of the items you may not want to keep. That visit also will give you an opportunity to view our inventory where you’ll see trendy new styles perfect for those who, like J Lo, want to defy expectations.

And, best of all, with FCG’s help, you can update your home without paying full retail. We look forward to helping you at one of our three stores in Hanover, Natick and Plymouth.

Welcome, Millennials! FCG Has the Quality, Sustainability You Crave

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, January 31, 2020 @ 07: 06 PM

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Q: What’s the difference between a boomer and a millennial?
A: A boomer went to the moon and took five photos, no selfies. A millennial went to the mall and took 37 photos, all selfies.

Every generation looks at the one behind them and wonders “what’s wrong with those kids?” Baby boomers are no different. They’ve been complaining about millennials since they were in diapers. Millennials are young adults now, and they are continuing to exasperate their elders.

Growing up, they were coddled in every way. Everyone got a trophy, even those who lost at games or contests. They are a highly educated generation, yet many have stumbled into establishing careers. They are derided as entitled and lazy. They have more debt and less wealth than earlier generations but they manage to find the money to drop on a pricey white mocha frappuccino.

But, as boomers retire, millennials are moving into leadership positions. And they have very different ideas about what’s important. They are deeply skeptical about boomers’ values and practices. They’ve grown up in a world in which information about anything and everything was available 24/7. They see their world as fragile and themselves as vulnerable.

As consumers, millennials are demanding that companies be transparent with their processes, their natural resources and their supply chain. Sustainability is their watchword; disposable is a dirty word. They want the items they buy to have a long useful life. In fact, millennials are on their way to being the most prolific consumers in the secondhand market.

From vintage clothing to certified pre-owned cars, millennials are demanding higher quality and longer usage from items they buy. Luxury manufacturers are scrambling to accommodate them with transferable warranties and free repairs. At FCG, we’re seeing more and more millennials. They’re shunning the cheap, disposable furniture that’s piling up in landfills. They want quality that lasts.

Maybe these young’uns actually have a lot to teach the boomers. Millennials seem to be turning back the clock to a time when products were made to last and every customer was special. And they are looking to protect future generations by protecting the world we all share. Sounds like a happy ending that all of us can appreciate.

What We’re Striving For at FCG: Style, Quality and Authenticity

Posted by Jay Frucci on Fri, January 24, 2020 @ 04: 49 PM

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I could feel the fluid gurgling in my lungs and knew something wasn’t right. For three days, I’d been skiing hard, the first one on the lift in the morning, and last one at sundown. Now, I was having trouble breathing.

Alta, a quirky resort in Utah, is a powder-hound’s dream. With its extraordinary views, steep drops and sparkly piles of fluffy snow, it’s a top destination for hard-core skiers who don’t mind a mountain that’s rough around the edges. At 8,000 feet above sea level, Alta is breathtaking – literally, as it turned out, for me.

After one particularly demanding run, though, I was struggling for breath. My buddies demanded that I get some medical help, and this time I didn’t argue. There was a shack with a red cross at the base of the mountain, and I glided right up to the door.

Looking around the waiting room, I was flooded with shame. One skier was holding a blood-soaked towel to his forehead; he needed stitches. On a gurney lay a teenage boy moaning in pain; a makeshift splint was holding his shattered leg in place while he waited for an ambulance to take him to the hospital. Afraid of looking like a wimp in the midst of these snow warriors, I whispered to a nurse that I was just a little breathless.

Immediately, the hospital staff whipped into action, hoisting me on a gurney and snapping an oxygen mask on my face. A dog trotted by to check on my condition. A few minutes later, the doctor arrived straight from the slopes. He was still wearing his snow pants.

“Feeling good, Doc!” I said enthusiastically, even if my words were a little muffled inside the oxygen mask. “I want to get back out there ASAP!”

Bad news, the doctor said. Altitude sickness is serious and, untreated, it could be life-threatening. East Coast skiers, especially the aggressive ones who want to tackle the highest terrain, are particularly vulnerable. The doc ordered me off the mountain and into the valley until my lungs could clear the fluid.

Looking back, I realize I’d gotten quality health care, rendered in a shack on the side of a mountain by a guy who loved skiing as much as medicine. Everything about the experience was authentic: the scruffy dog, the bloody towels, the doctor in ski pants, the rough floors, the battered gurney. I’ve never forgotten it.

That’s what we’re hoping to offer you at FCG, the real deal. Our stores are full of furniture that’s high quality and gorgeously stylish – with the occasional nick or dent that lets you know these pieces were, at one time, part of someone else’s home. Our goal isn’t perfection – it is authenticity. Isn’t that what we’re all yearning for these days?